PWC with the Home Office

Commercial Impact

The Home Office faces complex challenges – especially at its borders. With a growing number of asylum-seekers, and a backlog of applications to process, costs for temporary accommodation were increasing, service quality and welfare were declining, and its stretched resources left the UK more exposed to risks from trafficking.

Left unchecked, these issues would leave the Home Office unable to fulfil its commitments and support Prime Minister Sunak’s five key objectives. Accommodation contracts would fail, and require more expensive hotel accommodation, at public expense – putting greater financial and political pressure on the Home Office. Reduced service provision for asylum-seekers could leave the Home Office unable to fulfil its statutory obligations, and expose the Home Secretary to judicial review, while growing demands on the UK’s Borders capacity would reduce its ability to combat trafficking. The increased pressure on the Home Office’s commercial teams would diminish their ability to manage complex procurement processes and contracts, and to develop new processes.

The Home Office wanted to improve its Commercial Service in a way that supported the priorities of the Home Secretary and Prime Minister. It needed comprehensive specialist and surge support to relieve the pressure on its in-house teams. It sought an assessment of the commercial risks it faced, and how to mitigate them. And it wanted to learn how it could restructure its contracts in a way that satisfied its statutory objectives.

PwC’s solution provided expert commercial and procurement support, in a surge model that could respond to volatile demand with a dynamic blend of skills. The firm would transform the commercial functions of Migration and Borders, Homeland Security Group, Asylum and Protection and central corporate enablers, to improve their skills and build capability. It would bring its expertise to a range of procurements and contracts, helping the Home Office to meet its statutory obligations despite its operational pressures.

Behind the issues lay a weight of contracts, from which the Home Office was struggling to get the best quality and value. Its Commercial Service was under huge pressure, and PwC quickly helped improve both its capacity and capability. The firm deployed a flexible, managed service to provide surge capacity that responded to pivots in operational and political demand, and negotiated significant improvements in its major contracts.

PwC developed better commercial strategies, contract models and processes, and improved supplier relationships, to build a resilient, long-term capability. As a result, up to 43% more asylum-seeker accommodation is available, at 83% lower unit cost. Border security has improved, on drug-smuggling and people-trafficking, and the provision of support to Ukraine’s borders. PwC also improved the client’s alignment with the processes, aggregations and compliance needs of UK Borders, as well as stakeholders across other continents.

View the PwC profile in the MCA Members Directory.